My morning routine is pretty consistent. I wake up, take some vitamins and drink 16 ounces of water, take care of some personal hygiene, and then I start some water boiling.
Boiling water is the first step of what I call the ceremony of coffee. Granted, for some of you the boiler heating up in your Keurig takes too long and you’re really not interested in taking the time to introduce a morning ceremony into your life. I get that. I’ve got a job, a wife, four kids, and more goals for 24 hours than I ought to. But the ceremony is important to me and my day.
As the water boils, I grab my Hario scale and the bean cup for my Bodum grinder. Then, I finally get to smell the coffee. I open the bag and measure out 20 grams of beans for a 15-1 ratio in my 300 ml cup. It’s always the same. That’s part of the routine. If my wife wants a cup, I’ll measure her cup (20-1 ratio) out separately.
The smell of the coffee fills the air and excited my mind as I contemplate my adventures for the day. As the water finishes boiling, I’ll usually down 30g of protein at this time of the morning as well. (That’s part of my routine, not part of the ceremony.)
I heat the water in a separate kettle, and when it’s done I transfer it into a Hario swan neck kettle. I’ll set a Hario V60 on my Bitcoin mug and place a filter in it. I wet the filter and preheat the mug. I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious about the coffee at this point.
I drain the cup and add the ground coffee. This is where I think the most enjoyable part of the experience is- the blooming. The Hario scale has a timer on it, so I can focus on the coffee itself. It’s a sensual experience, meaning all the senses are involved.
As I pour the water over the coffee, I take special care to pour gently, smoothly, and in a circular motion. It’s physical. The coffee expands and bubbles, changing color while being extremely active. It’s visual. The coffee releases an incredible aroma into the air. It’s olfactic.
As I add more water to finish off the brew, I have to be patient. It takes about four minutes to complete, so there is no immediate gratification. That’s certainly not an eternity, but I think delayed gratification is an important concept to learn and practice, intentionally, in life. For some of you, four minutes to wait for your morning coffee is too long. And when you add that to the time it takes to boil water and grind the beans, you’re ten minutes late for work.
Lastly, is the taste. One of the wonderful things about specialty coffee is that most of it changes flavor as the cup cools. Many coffees from Ethiopia have flowery scents that accompany sweeter flavors as the temperature drops. For me, this is also part of the ceremony. It’s discovering the subtle nuances the cup has to offer.
If you’re rushing through your morning routine, or you make a cup during your lunch break, try to slow down and really take in all that happens as you brew your cup of coffee. I think you’ll begin to enjoy the ceremony of coffee as much as I do.